John Romero is probably best known as the co-founder of iD Software and co-creator of Doom and Quake (and Commander Keen). But his game experience extends back to the era of the Apple II and before. While reveling in the golden age of video games, his friend told him that there were games for free at the local college, and there they discovered the family of games now considered classics: Hunt the Wumpus, "Poison Cookie" and a game which turned out to be Adventure.
He was inspired enough by Adventure to try writing one of his own, but while learning a number of new tricks and techniquess in programming, an errant bump in road sent his punch cards into a puddle, cutting the project short. He switched to an Apple II and a disk drive some time after, and his game coding took off.
Romero's path crossed with Infocom's in the late 1980s; while working for a company he co-founded called Ideas From the Deep, he wrote an operating system for the Apple II that was used in the last round of Infocom games: Journey, Shogun, Zork Zero, and Arthur. He didn't get to meet anybody but he was proud of his contribution and offered to be interviewed.
He was kind enough to make himself available on a Sunday and gave a great interview, a short one before I headed off from California.
Single shot of John Romero sitting behind his desk.